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SPI Composites Institute's 48th Annual Conference and Expo '93.

Perhaps more than ever before, the subject of marketing will command considerable attention at the SPI Composites Institute's 48th Annual Conference and EXPO '93, scheduled for February 8-11 at the Cincinnati Convention Center. This year, the Institute has sought to increase attendance of fabricators and end users by redirecting the emphasis of technical papers toward marketing issues, particularly those relevant to the corrosion/ pipe, construction, and automotive markets. A marketing focus will also be apparent in three panel discussions addressing possibilities for composite materials: "Opportunities in the U.S. Marine/Waterfront/Inland Waterway/ Offshore Market"; Opportunities for Composites in Reinforced Concrete Construction"; and Understanding and Doing Business in the Construction Industry."

Attendance at the show is expected to top 3000, according to the Institute, which promotes the acceptance of composites materials on behalf of its more than 460 member firms.

Highlights of the conference will include a Product Showcase honoring outstanding innovations in commercial composites applications and technology; a trade show of more than 100 firms exhibiting advances in resins, fillers and additives, and fabricating equipment; and a Composites Forum, featuring a three-hour seminar addressing development of composites markets, entitled Growing Your Composites Business - Proven Techniques for Market Application Development." More than 100 papers will be presented in 21 marketing/technical sessions.

Another highlight of the conference will be the Institute's release of the 1993 industry report, detailing projections of composites shipments to nine different markets based upon 1992 shipments and various market factors. The Institute tracks and projects shipments to the aircraft/aerospace, appliance/business, construction, consumer products, corrosion-resistant equipment, electrical/electronic, marine, transportation, and other" markets (including medical equipment, orthopedic appliances, and dental materials).

Signs of Recovery

According to a statistical report released by the Institute last August, industry analysts saw demand for composites as being sufficiently strong in enough markets to warrant projection of an overall 5.5% increase in 1992 shipments over 1991, from 2.36 billion to 2.49 billion lbs. Shipments for 1990 were 2.57 billion lbs. The Institute cited continuing substitution of composites for other materials and the industry's optimism about the economy as reasons for the projected increase.

The use of composites in cars, trucks, and mass transit equipment was expected to grow by 5.9% in 1992, owing largely to increased use of lightweight, nonrusting, and dent-resistant composite body panels and structural components. Cars and trucks for the 1993 model year are expected to use more than 300 different SMC composite parts - 20% more than 1992 models - and at least one production vehicle will incorporate a composite component with recycled content. That vehicle is the Chevrolet Corvette, which won the SPE Automotive Division's Environmental Award in 1992 for its use of recycled SMC filler in low density SMC inner panels.

A projected rise of 20% in housing starts for 1992 is expected to offset hits to the commercial construction and home remodeling industries and increase shipments of composites to the construction market by 11.8%. The construction market uses composites for manufacturing items such as shower stalls, tubs, spas, sinks and vanities, and window lineals and light-transmitting panels. Total shipments were 420 million lbs in 1991 and were expected to reach 469.6 million lbs by the end of 1992.

Because of planned cutbacks in capital spending by many firms, shipments of composites to the corrosion-resistant equipment market were expected to decrease 4.0% to 340.9 million lbs in 1992 (from 355 million lbs in 1991). The market comprises chemical storage and process tanks, pipe systems, and pollution control equipment, and is acutely affected by capital spending decisions. However, the Institute predicts a "substantial increase" in composites shipments to this market in 1993.

Rebounding sales in the marine (fiberglass boats) industry, particularly for craft under 24 ft, prompted projection of a 9.5% growth in shipments to the marine market. Shipments of composites to the marine market had fallen from 452 million lbs in 1988 to 275 million lbs in 1991, and were projected to total 301.1 billion lbs for 1992.

The Institute expected shipments to the electrical/electronics market to rise by 6.1% as a result of continued substitution of composites in pole-line hardware and industrial fuses, and the anticipated strength of the housing market. The appliance/business equipment market, which includes home appliances and machinery components, was also expected to benefit by the projected rise in housing starts; shipments were expected to increase 4.7% to 141.6 million lbs. Continued cuts in military spending were expected to decrease shipments to the aircraft/aerospace/military market by 13.7%, and shipments to the consumer products industry were expected to rise by a modest 1.5%.

Best Paper Awards

The Composites Institute will sponsor six "best paper" awards, recognizing outstanding technical papers in the categories of design, materials, testing, processing, research, and applications. Industry magazines will sponsor the "best overall paper" award and "best paper" awards in the advanced composites, commercial innovation, and fillers and additives categories. Presentation of all awards is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, during a special awards luncheon beginning at 12:15 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Technical Program

The technical program includes more than 100 papers, to be presented during 21 morning and afternoon technical sessions beginning Tuesday, February 9, and ending Thursday, February 11. Subjects include corrosion, pultrusion processing techniques, resin transfer molding, regulatory issues, SMC/BMC, materials, construction, marine, and recycling. A listing of the technical sessions (at press time), with number of papers to be presented in each, may be found on page 14.

A session entitled "International Composites Recycling" will outline programs and technologies for composites recycling in Japan, Canada, Europe, and the United States. The session will address recycling technologies for the automotive market; recycling regulations and public perception of them; benefits of recycling composites; and life cycle advantages of composites versus competitive materials.

Product Showcase and Awards

The Product Showcase, located adjacent to the EXPO |93 exhibit area, will display all entries in the product awards competition, including award-winning products. Products are eligible for awards if they represent a new use for composites, a new or innovative use of existing technology, or a new version of an existing product. The awards will be announced and presented at the awards luncheon on Tuesday, February 9.

In selecting products to be displayed in the awards portion of the Product Showcase, judges from the Composites Institute evaluate submissions on the basis of design, manufacturing, and market significance. Products selected for display in the awards portion receive an Award of Excellence.

Judges also select the best products in each of thirteen market categories: aircraft/aerospace, appliance/business equipment, construction, consumer goods, contact molding, corrosion-resistant equipment, development (for products not yet in commercial production), electrical/electronic, energy, innovation (in application, design, or process), marine, specialty, and transportation. Each winner, except the winner in the corrosion-resistant equipment category, receives a Best of Category Award sponsored by Amoco Chemical Co. The top product in the corrosion-resistant category will receive the Walter A. Szymanski Award, sponsored by the Ashland Chemical Co.

Amoco also sponsors awards for development, innovation, and contact molding.

The product using advanced composites in the most innovative and practical application, across all market categories, will receive the Most Innovative Advanced Composite Application Award, sponsored by Composite Market Reports. The "Counterpoise" Grand Design Award, sponsored by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., will go to the product considered to be clearly superior to all other entries. Chrysler Corp.'s Dodge Viper sports car, featuring an all-composites body, won the "Counterpoise" Award in 1992.

Product Awards Entries

IKG Industries has submitted a 2-1/2-inch heavy-duty Corgrate FRP grating, designed to carry heavy and moving loads in corrosive environments. The pultruded grating is reported to be capable of carrying an HS20 wheel load on a 32-inch span wit maximum deflection of 0.375 inch. Cross bars, incorporating rod stock of 1/2-inch diameter, are epoxy bonded and heat cure to the bearing bars at each intersection; glass fibers are per manently bonded with isophthalic polyester resin as they pas through a heated die. Materials composition is 30% isophthalic polyester and 70% E glass roving reinforcement (52 yield).

Ford Motor Co.'s 1993 Mark VIII Hood Assembly, compression molded by Gencorp Automotive Reinforced Plastics Division, combines Gencorp's "Class A" outer panel material with low-density inner panel material. The outer panel reportedly provides excellent Defractto and Loria readings and can be processed through high-temperature "E-coat" ovens. The low density material in the hood inner panel reduces weight; total weight of the assembly is reported to be 40 lbs.

The controlled atmosphere laboratory glovebox, molded by Drake Design Inc. for Labonco Corp., is a leak-tight safety enclosure that protects air-sensitive materials from effects of oxygen and moisture and isolates technicians from hazardous materials. Its two major composite parts are an FRP/gelcoat work enclosure that permits establishment and maintenance of an inert gas environment, and an FRP/gelcoat air-lock chamber that permits the passing of samples between laboratory and glovebox while maintaining the established environment. The work enclosure is processed by multistage hand lay-up, assisted by use of a Binks wet-out system; the flange is compression molded. The enclosure incorporates Ashland Hetron 625 P resin with 2- and 3-oz fiberglass mat, and has an interior surface of Co-Plas WG7634 gelcoat.

A jet engine acoustic inlet barrel, molded for commercial aircraft by Grumman Corp., reduces noise and weight. Its facesheet, continuous ring stiffener, and engine attachment flange are integrally molded; a single continuous structural shell supports primary loads. Reported to be 37% lighter than the metallic barrel it replaces, the inlet barrel is molded of graphite/epoxy and Hexcel Nomex Flexcore honeycomb.

A "Composite Main |C' Spring" component, molded by Pacific Coast Composites for an office chair by The American Seating Co., simplifies the spring and adjustment mechanism and provides fatigue strength reported to be superior to that of typical steel springs. Located beneath the main seating area, the C-shaped cantilever spring is concentric to the unibody and has independent three dimensional flex capability. It is manufactured from precured Uni-Directional E glass material supplied by Gordon Plastics (San Marcos, Calif.), and has a cosmetic outer layer of UHMWPE thermoplastic.

The Castor 120 Composite Rocket Motor Case, molded by Thiokol Corp., is designed to burst at pressures exceeding 2400 psi. The structure - 302 inches long and 93 inches in diameter - incorporates Toray T1000GB carbon fiber and A.Amoco ERL 1908 resin; it is filament wound with use of a segmented metal mandrel and total assembly co-curing. Concurrent design reportedly reduced cost by 50% and fabrication process time by 70% relative to similarly sized composite pressure vessels.

A compression-molded commercial dryer blower housing submitted by Composite Products, Inc., is reported to provide increased fatigue strength, sound deadening, and reduced weight. Molded of polypropylene with 30% long glass (1/2-inch) fiber, the blower housing has a smooth surface finish and is said to meet requirements of a 30-day dynamic propeller load test.

The GLAS.LADR, molded by Glasforms, Inc., is reported to be the lightest composite ladder manufactured in the U.S. The pultruded structure weighs 2 lbs per ft, including hardware, and features a box-beam design that imparts increased strength to the rails and seals out dust. Rails, consisting of polyester veil reinforced with 65% continuous strand mat/roving in isophthalic resin, are connected by a fluted composite rung. The entire structure is locked together by glass reinforced nylon plugs that prevent vibrational wind noises.

Bedford Reinforced Plastics has submitted its Bus Unit baggage door for the lower cargo area of the Holiday Rambler RV motor homes. A one-piece, thin-walled hollow profile with two internal webs and a high strength-to-weight ratio, the pultruded door incorporates 50% modified low-profile polyester and 50% glass reinforcement. It sports a Class A outer surface finish and, compared to a previous open molded lay-up door, reportedly reduces weight.

Other entries include the Chrysler Dodge Viper windshield surround, with molded-in steel support bar, wiring harness, and foam core; a 14.5-lb Seatrend Sailboard with a high strength-to-weight ratio; a heat shield compression molded of BMC 851 and reported to provide favorable creep resistance under load at high temperatures; a composite suspension web boat trailer; and a support structure for signs and lighting equipment, pultruded and compression molded of polyester thermoset resin reinforced with glass fibers.

For further information on the 48th Annual Conference and EXPO '93, contact the SPI Composites Institute, 355 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017; (212) 351-5410; fax (212) 370-1731.

Polymer Composites is the engineering and scientific journal serving the fields of reinforced plastics and polymer composites. PC locuses on the rapidly advancing technical areas of particulate, fibrous, flake, and skeletal composites and laminates. Published bimonthly, Polymer Composites brings to you the details of applied developments of specific interest in the field long before they are commercial realities. Each article is reviewed by a panel of scientists and engineers.

A one-year subscription cost $95 for SPE members, $200 for nonmembers (add $20 per year for all delivery outside North America). All subscriptions are on a calendar-year basis. Call the SPE Subscriptions Dept. at (203) 775-0471, or write to SPE, 14 Fairfield Drive, Brookfield, CT 06804 U.S.A.
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Title Annotation:Society of the Plastics Industry; includes information about industry forecasts and new products
Author:Schott, Mark W.
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:2203
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